Cayenne, Habanero, ghost peppers, and Reaper peppers — they all work together to give Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen‘s Boomshakalaka Nashville chicken its top-of-the-line jolt. Not a masochist? She’s got six levels of heat to choose from, all the way down to no heat at all (Southern-style). They’ve been operating in soft-open mode for the last couple of weeks but the big day is tomorrow, Friday, June 17th: the grand opening of Carla Hall’s culinary ode to Nashville hot chicken. Continue reading
To celebrate their 65th anniversary, Nashville’s Loveless Cafe is delivering free food to local businesses in Nashville. Local companies register online and the Loveless will, each month until November, randomly select one of the businesses to be the lucky recipients of their famously delectable biscuits and preserves. They started in April with 1075 The River. This month, ASCAP won the drawing. Businesses can register for the Biscuit Bash here.
New York has its Dr. Brown’s and pastrami, Philadelphia enjoys a hoagie with a wishniak, and the south? Well, you haven’t really experienced southern living until you’ve savored an RC and a Moon Pie, that sugary pick-me-up of cola, marshmallow, and graham crackers. RC Cola was born in Georgia, and Moon Pies come from Tennessee, so it’s only natural that this southern duo would be honored with an annual celebration in Bell Buckle, TN. The 22nd edition of the RC & Moon Pie Festival will be Saturday, June 18th. Continue reading
We’re certainly behind the curve on this news — the great Dixie Barbeque of Johnson City, Tennessee is closed permanently, and has been closed since the first of the year. Alan Howell simply decided to retire. It was no surprise – folks knew that December would be their final shot at his famous pulled pork and filled the place in record numbers all month. Today, there’s a “for sale” sign on the shuttered building. Mark Rutledge, writing for North Carolina’s Daily Reflector, mourns Dixie’s absence from his life: “Barbecue is not my religion, but if it were, Alan Howell . . . would be my preacher.”
Andre Prince, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack of Nashville, TN, says eating Nashville hot chicken “is a punishment and a joy.” She knows that as well as anyone, as it was the philandering ways of Andre’s uncle Thornton that is responsible for the creation of the dish. The rapscallion’s wife punished him one day by loading his fried chicken with cayenne pepper. Unfortunately for her, the pain turned to pleasure, so much so, in fact, that uncle Thornton opened the chicken shack and began selling the stuff to the public! Continue reading
Super-hot-spiced fried chicken has been percolating along quietly in Nashville, TN for, oh, about 80 years. Through the decades the fiery bird received little national attention nor, for that matter, all that much local attention. Suddenly, within the last two or three years, the yardbird has flown the coop and is nesting in spots like New York City, Lexington, KY, and Birmingham, AL. Why now? Or, more to the point, what took so long? All it takes is a taste for a lifelong love affair. We know; we’re addicts as well. Continue reading
We relayed the news a few weeks ago that the supreme plate lunch specialist of Nashville, TN, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, would be opening a second location in the Green Hills section of Nashville in December. Well, we just learned that today’s opening day for the new eatery. Like the original Arnold’s, it’s open for lunch only, Monday through Friday, but there’s a second nugget of news: they hope to begin serving dinner soon, which is great to hear. No reason meat-and-three should be a lunch only meal! And here’s a third nugget: the new Arnold’s will begin serving breakfast when the original restaurant closes in March while it undergoes expansion and renovations.
Gus’s Fried Chicken, which began life in the 1950s in the small town of Mason, Tennessee, northeast of Memphis, will be opening their 13th store early next year in Knoxville, TN. That’s not all for the spicy-crusted bird that many folks put on their top-ten lists. By early 2016 there should also be new stores in Los Angeles, Detroit, Fort Worth, and Kansas City (where it will face especially stiff competition). Future stores are in the works for St. Louis and Philadelphia.
Brooklyn, NY coal-oven pizza specialist Grimaldi’s has been expanding like mad across the U.S. This year’s new openings in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina bring the total number of Grimaldi’s to 39. And the expansion hasn’t slowed: they’ve just announced their first Tennessee store, in the Memphis suburb of Germantown in the Saddle Creek center. If there isn’t yet a Grimaldi’s in your vicinity rest assured there probably will be before too long.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen of Nashville, the popular meat-and-three cafeteria open for lunch only, Monday through Friday, will be undergoing two major changes in the near future. First of all, sometime next month, a second location will open in the Green Hills section of Nashville, at 2209 Abbott Martin Road (in a former location of Sylvan Park Restaurant, another Nashville favorite of ours). They plan to start off with table service, with the same menu as the downtown cafeteria. They’re leaving open the possibility of later switching to cafeteria service.
We know Germantown Commissary, in the Memphis suburb of Germantown, as the site of classic Memphis barbecue — we’ve even mail-ordered first-rate Q from them — but if you’re dining in, you may want to avail yourself of the dessert menu. Michelle Lewis, writing for the alternative weekly Memphis Flyer, expresses her love for the Commissary’s homemade banana pudding, adding a little additional praise for their entire dessert menu. Read it all here.
The Kansas City Star sent Jill Wendholt Silva to Memphis to report back on the Memphis in May BBQ competition and the Memphis barbecue scene in general. Kudos to Ms. Silva – she showed genuine interest and curiosity, as opposed to the usual approach when a reporter from one barbecue region visits another barbecue region – you know, that mocking and haughty tone. Read about barbecue spaghetti, barbecue-stuffed baked potatoes, fresh pork rinds, barbecue nachos, potato chips sprinkled with Q rub, tamales, barbecue shrimp… and, of course, competition Q.
Jim Neely and his nephew Tony will be opening the fourth Interstate Barbecue next month at 7209 Winchester Road in Memphis, at the eastern edge of the city. The original restaurant is on South 3rd Street in Memphis, with branches in the Memphis airport and Southaven, Mississippi, just over the state line from Memphis. Interstate is one of the great barbecue meccas in a city known for great barbecue.
It’s biscuits, biscuits, and more biscuits as the International Biscuit Festival returns to Knoxville, Tennessee this week. This relatively new festival, first held in 2009, has rapidly grown into one of the country’s major food shindigs. There are really two parts to this event. Beginning Thursday, May 14th, and continuing through the day Friday, is the Southern Food Writing Conference, featuring seminars, speakers, and professional food writers. The $450 registration fee will keep those with a more casual interest in the subject away. Of more relevance to the general public will be the events from Friday evening on. Continue reading
As cotton gave way to strawberries in the 1930s as the primary crop in the region around Humboldt, Tennessee, the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival was founded to promote the berry. That first festival was held in 1934, and has been held every May since then, attracting over 100,000 visitors each year. This year’s 78th strawberry fest got underway Sunday with an art exhibition and will conclude Saturday evening with the Territorial Queens Revue. Continue reading
Years ago, during a visit to Nashville, TN, we saw signs for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry, which was going on that same weekend, in Paris, TN. Paris is about two hours west of Nashville and we just couldn’t squeeze it in. Sure wish we could’ve, though, ‘cause it sounds like fun! The Fry began in 1938 as Mule Day, but as tractors replaced mules on local farms the Chamber of Commerce looked for something else to celebrate, and in 1953 catfish was the chosen symbol. 1961 was the year they started calling it the World’s Biggest. Is it? Who cares?! Continue reading
In the mid 1800s, Columbia Tennessee was known as a major mule trading center, a place farmers knew they could find quality animals to plow their fields. It wasn’t until 1934 that the reputation evolved into a formal Mule Day, which was held off and on since then, although today’s version began in earnest in 1974. Mule Day has been called “Rural America at its Best.” So just what is a mule, you ask? Good question! If daddy is a donkey and mommy is a horse, you’ve got yourself a mule. They are usually, but not always, born sterile, and tend to combine the best traits of both species. Continue reading
Msn.com’s getting in on the act – everyone wants to present their list of America’s best fried chickens! From #50 Hill Country Fried Chicken of New York City to #1 Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken of Tennessee (and currently expanding nationally), they present all the usual, and worthy, suspects interspersed with a goodly number of out-of-the-box picks. Have a look!
Texas smokes beef, northwestern Kentucky smokes mutton, the Carolinas finely chop pork shoulder and dress it with an assortment of regional sauces, and all of America has gone barbecue mad. Yet, for many Americans, barbecue means Memphis and Memphis means barbecue. Here they specialize in slow-smoked ribs and pork shoulders, which are pulled apart into shreds and chunks and sandwiched along with cool, crunchy slaw. Read more about what makes Memphis barbecue special in this story from The Daily Helmsman, the student newspaper of The University of Memphis.
Cozy Corner of Memphis opened yesterday inside Encore Cafe, with a smoking trailer out back. See the setup in the video above. Cozy Corner, across the street from Encore, suffered a devastating fire in January and it will be many months before their own restaurant will be ready for a move back across the street.